Monument to the 1798 Rebellion

On June 6th 1798, a youth came running into Mountmellick in a very distressed state. At Debbicot he had seen 70 to 80 United Irishmen marching along the road. These men were caught after a battle in Monasterevin. The Pollaghs is one mile north of Mountmellick near the River Barrow and River Triogue and it was the site where these men had trained the week before. They were brought to the barracks at O'Moore St., where they were questioned, tortured and flogged. A man by the name of Major Leatham, who was head of the Cavalry, showed his authority by hanging some of the prisoners. Patrick Dunne, Daniel Dunne, Francis Dunne, Thomas Dunne, James Deegan and Willie Brock were selected for hanging on June 11th.

No information was given by any of the brave men. Two days later, on June 13th, five more men were hanged. They were William Holohan, Patrick Murphy, John Guilfoyle, George Gilligan and Daniel Conroy. The Parish Priest of Mountmellick, Fr. Thady Dwane, administered the last rites to the prisoners. Willie Brock and Daniel Dunne were buried in Graigue churchyard and the other nine were buried in the Ivy Chapel churchyard. Major Leatham, in carrying out the executions, was following the orders of Major Charles Asgill, the Commander of the Crown forces in Laois, Carlow and Kilkenny. Mountmellick remembered these eleven brave United Irishmen in 1898, 1938, 1948 and in 1998.

In 1998 hundreds of men, women and children marched from the Ivy Chapel to Graigue. A commemorative stone was unveiled at both graveyards. From Graigue the march proceeded to the Monument at Wolfe Tone St. where a wreath was laid. Below are the details of the 1798 Monument at Wolfe Tone St:

  • Erected at Wolfe Tone St. Mountmellick
  • Railing erected: DIV 936 O.A.H. Mountmellick June 1913
  • Celtic Cross Type, Approx. 14 - 15ft High
  • Inscription: Eleven brave United Irishmen were hanged near this spot on the 11th and 13th June 1798. Patrick Dunne, William Holohan, Francis Dunne, Willie Brock, Daniel Dunne, James Deegan, Thomas Dunne, Patrick Murphy, John Guilfoyle, Daniel Conroy and George Gilligan. To their memory, this cross was erected a century later by their successors still struggling to attain the objects for which they died. As a small tribute to their unflenching patriotism, unswerving devotion to the cause of liberty and the unshrinking bravery they exhibited when in the power of their oppressors.


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